Jo-Ann Mapson hates the word “mentor.” Why, I’m not sure. It’s an honorable calling. But for now, I’ll just call her my dear friend, although I’m convinced that without her guidance and support, my first book would never have seen the light of day.
The counter by the back door was covered with what looked like blue cupcake sprinkles. Of course, at 7 AM and Geoff and I weren’t really processing information yet.
He got it before I did.
“We’ve got a mouse,” he said.
My only real criteria for an enjoyable read is that a book must take me somewhere interesting—another country, another reality, another heart—and hold me there. Possibly even against my will.
Such was the case when I read In a Dark Wood Wandering, by Hella S. Haasse, which arrived unannounced in my mailbox one day, sent by a friend with no note or explanation. The story is set during the Hundred Years War, the main character is Charles, Duke of Orleans, and the story is history, so there are no real surprises. All the uncharted territory lies within the characters and the Dark Woods of life through which they stumble. And the story of how it came to be translated into English is hardly less compelling.
Baker’s Blues is coming out this summer!
I’m so ready to get this one out the door. It’s been percolating since…well, since the twentieth century, when I was writing Bread Alone. Hard to believe it’s been that long, and harder still to think that I actually had in my head the entire arc of this story.
Harry’s Roadhouse out on the Old Las Vegas Highway is a local hangout. The customers are an intriguing mix of artsy types, musicians, actors, cowpersons, politicos, and normal people.
I’ve always loved hats. I wasn’t a particularly feminine girl-child, but I played with dolls, and I made hats for them from handkerchiefs and buttons, ribbons and safety pins. I had my own hats, too…bunny fur and dark green velvet in winter, straw Easter bonnets with fake flowers every spring. That is, up until I hit seventh grade, when wearing a hat suddenly became uncool. At that time the only acceptable head gear among my peer group was scarves. Why we wanted to wear what my Polish grandmother would have called babushkas remains a mystery to me, but like pre-teens everywhere, we were driven by the need to look exactly alike.
Besides running the wood fired oven workshops, Pat runs Hains House as an AirB&B. In case you haven’t been traveling much lately, this is a system like those home stays and farm stays that are so deservedly popular in other countries. Three bedrooms and a bath upstairs, one bed and bath downstairs. So in the four nights I spent in the Log Cabin room under the eaves, Vasu had another of the upstairs bedrooms and the downstairs room was occupied Friday night by Frank and Elaine from Victoria, B.C. and Saturday night by Emily and David from Northern Ireland. And it must be said that in the case of Hains House, “bed & breakfast” doesn’t really cover the experience.
The first of two posts about my wood fired baking workshop in Olympia, WA…
I’ve learned over the course of many years and many trips that travel is like dominoes. If a day starts off ugly things generally get worse. Thursday (Sept. 19th) is a travel day that begins with a thunderstorm at 1:15 AM. After checking the time, making sure the roof isn’t leaking and getting a drink of water, I start mentally calculating how many hours I have left to sleep, which of course means zero. We leave the house at 4 AM (don’t ask.)
“Did you know Cindy Bellinger?” my husband asks.
We’re sitting at a table at Dulce having coffee and reading the paper, our Friday morning routine. I’m reading Pasatiempo and I look up, surprised.
“Yes, we met her at Larry’s signing. Why?”